Voigtlander 21mm f4 Color Skopar Review (+vs Zeiss 21mm Biogon)
Do you use a Leica M camera and want a compact lightweight super sharp wide angle lens? Perhaps you use a crop sensor small form mirrorless camera and you want an approximate 35mm equivalent focal length lens? I use the Voigtlander 21mm f4 Color Skopar lens on both Leica M cameras and the new crop sensor Leica CL camera.
This lens is so good I bought it twice!
Voigtlander 21mm f4 review including 21mm portraits, 21mm wedding photography, 21mm street photography, 21mm travel photography and a quick Voigtlander 21mm vs Zeiss 21mm ZM comparison.
Voigtlander 21mm f4 lens – Tiny size!
This is the smallest lens for my Leica camera system so it is perfect for travel or to fit in any bag as a just in case lens. It is even smaller than my Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens which is really compact (slightly smaller).
Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm – Take Two!
I owned this lens in the past and stupidly sold it. I bought another copy of the lens this year ahead of a cycling trip where I wanted the most compact lightweight 35mm film camera setup for landscape photography (using my existing cameras).
Voigtlander 21mm viewfinder
Leica M cameras don’t have 21mm frame lines in the viewfinder. To compose a 21mm lens accurately you next an external wide angle viewfinder that fits on the hot shoe. I use a Voigtlander 21mm-25mm viewfinder. (See my Leica M6 photo above). With the new Leica CL camera you can compose in camera without need of the 21mm viewfinder via the EVF.
Voigtlander 21mm f4 vs Zeiss 21mm f2.8
I already owned the Zeiss 21mm ZM Biogon f2.8 lens which replaced my first Voigtlander 21mm f4 Skopar lens. The Zeiss ZM Biogon is 1 stop faster than the Skopar so I thought it would be an upgrade for me. Both lenses are very sharp wide open. My issued with the 21mm ZM Biogon are very minor but I will mention them. I enjoy using Leica lenses with 39mm filter thread so I can share common filters amongst multiple lenses. (See my Leica filters post). The Zeiss ZM 21mm is very sharp and with good contrast and i’ve used it a huge amount for Leica weddings since I bought it. The Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm is equally good too my eyes but has the advantage of being half the size (and with a 39mm filter thread). I love small lenses!
Voigtlander 21mm f4 Sample Photos
Leica M240 + Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm
Testing the new Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm lens with Amy walking round Birmingham. (I also tested the Leica Summicron 28mm f2 ASPH that day if you want to compare)(post to follow).
21mm Environmental Portrait (Leica M240)
Film cameras using the Voigtlander 21mm
Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Color Skopar 21mm f4
21mm Landscape Photography
(See full details of my Fuerteventura cycling trip with this lens)
Leica M3 + 21mm f4 Voigtlander Color Skopar
21mm Street Photography (film)
Voigtlander 21mm f4 as a walkabout lens (film)
Leica M4-P + 21mm f4 Voigtlander Color Skopar
21mm Travel Photography (film)(square crops)
Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Voigtander 21mm f4 (v1)
The below photos were shot with my first copy of the Voigtlander 21mm lens before my Leica photography began. Taken in Russia on a business trip. New to film photography developing I messed up the developing so the developer liquid only cover part of the film! (If you are new to film developing at home or are looking to start see my Step by step guide how to process film at home!)
Camera bag for Russia with the Bessa R3A, Voigtlander 21mm + TMax 100 film
21mm Wedding Photography (*ZM Biogon)
For wedding photography I tend to use the 21mm Zeiss ZM Biogon as often I need the extra one stop of light. This is what the 21mm focal length looks like for a wedding .
Great Value Lens! (Almost 2/3 less than a Biogon!!)
If you are looking to buy a 21mm lens for your Leica (or other small mirrorless camera) check out the Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4 lens. It was almost 2/3 less than the cost of the Zeiss ZM Biogon 21mm when I last looked online. See Amazon for the latest prices! (UK) / (US)
For fun! My smallest lens vs largest lens! (old photo)
- Left: Voigtlander Color Skopar 21mm f4
- Right: Nikkor 200mm f2 Ai-s